Here are the new (and recent) metal releases for the week of January 24th, 2021 to January 30th, 2021. Releases reflect proposed North American scheduling, if available. Expect to see most of these albums on shelves or distros on Fridays.

See something we missed or have any thoughts? Let us know in the comments. Plus, as always, feel free to post your own shopping lists. Happy digging.

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Upcoming Releases


Accept -- Too Mean To Die | Nuclear Blast | Heavy Metal + Hard Rock | Germany

The heavy metal/hard rock legends Accept return with their 16th proper album (and the 5th with vocalist Mark Tornillo), finding the band doing what they do best; rock hard! Wolf Hoffmann has always been one of the more underrated lead guitarists in heavy metal and his penchant for guitar solos is on full display on the lead single ‘Zombie Apocalypse.’

--Tom Campagna

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Tribulation, one of the most beloved bands in the extreme metal scene to arise in the past decade or so, after a three year gestation period (for a second time) births upon this world their latest album, Where The Gloom Becomes Sound. The sound and performance found on here won’t alarm any ears already familiar with the band’s previous two high watermark albums as it takes what’s familiar and refines it further in execution without making any dramatic shifts. For those unfamiliar, and apparently living under a rock, the sound of Tribulation is a death/black metal root shaved down to the bare basics and refreshed with heavy metal classicalism and gothic rock/metal flair, all of which is funneled through the band’s aesthetic love affair with the visuals and atmosphere of German expressionism, as depicted in such films as Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

One difference, that I can only say I feel in my gut with this album, is that rhythmically it hits harder, perhaps as a result of drummer Oscar Leander having more time to establish himself as a vital part of the band. That’s pure speculation, but I can’t help but shake the feeling when listening to the two previous albums that Where The Gloom Becomes Sound has more force behind its pace. While songs like “Hour of the Wolf” and “Funeral Pyre” will likely meld perfectly with older tracks when Tribulation can hit the stage again, one thing that certainly will be different is the absence of long time songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Hultén. While the band very quickly announced a replacement in former Enforcer (along with many other bands) axe slinger Joseph Tholl, it’s unmistakable that his presence will mark a major turning point for the band going forward. Whether new fortunes or potential tragedy lie ahead is untold for now, but given the talents of all current members I’m certainly excited to see how they launch their latest work upon this darkened world and what the path into the infinity beyond that will entail.

--Joe Aprill

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Demon Head -- Viscera | Metal Blade | Gothic + Doom Metal + Hard Rock | Denmark

Demon Head has been an interesting band to see develop, as here on their fourth album Viscera we witness the group perhaps finally grasp a fully-realized vision that had previously been out of reach. This time, the eeriness and melancholia seeps through every inch of the music, preventing any moment of joy or triumph to puncture above the sea of despair the band is casting the listener into. About two fifths of the album’s tracks are short atmospheric pieces, but it's advisable not to skip them as they truly do help flesh out the feel of the album as they interconnect easily with the lush bells-and-whistles production on the proper songs. The album is remindful of such greats as Danzig and The Cult who easily mixed rock n’ roll rebellion with a pale cast for the darker emotions in life, but even more so lead singer Marcus Ferreira Larsen will remind many a hesher of In Solitude, who excelled in uniquely dark and dreary rock that Demon Head now are doing a damn fine job at continuing.

--Joe Aprill

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Michael Schenker Group -- Immortal | Nuclear Blast | Hard Rock + Heavy Metal | International

Vocalist Ronnie Romero (who you might know from Rainbow's recent-ish revival) makes this sound a little more like 1980s traditional metal than the hard rock tack MSG took in the past, but there's still plenty of shredding here, plus other stylistic deviations from the two other vocalists involved in case you wanted, I dunno, less consistency in your studio albums? And three drummers are involved? Certainly lives up to the "group" nomenclature -- but realistically, it's a vehicle for Schenker to riff and solo to his heart's content, and it enables that perfectly.

--Ted Nubel

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I originally put "???" in the genre field up there to remind myself to go look it up, but you know what -- "???" is more accurate than anything else I can come up with. I've Seen All I Need to See is heavily fucked-up experimental sludge, I suppose, but wildly overreaches any human-defined genre boundary you care to try and throw up. Absolutely a candidate for late-night nightmare fuel listening.

--Ted Nubel

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Dipygus -- Bushmeat | Memento Mori | Death Metal | Denmark

Putrid odors, rotting flesh, foul miasma, boiling scabs and maggot infested organ meat. This cacophony of stomach-churning sights, and especially smells, encapsulates exactly the kind of death metal you’ll get when throwing on Dipygus’ second record, Bushmeat. All of which, to be clear, shouldn’t give expectations of the clinical vivisection of Carcass but rather the dank swampy recesses of Autopsy, Impetigo, and contemporary fellow travelers of the sickening Undergang: the sort of knife-stabbing chugging riffs layered with crust alongside doom crushing passages that allow time for the blood and pus to pool out into the mud. “The Khumjung Scalp” and “Myiasis in Human Mouth” along with the rest of the album will be the perfect acquisition for a death metal fanatic looking for new material to edit together to their favorite clips from insanely gory old Italian cannibal films.

--Joe Aprill

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Yoth Iria -- As the Flame Withers | Pagan Records | Hellenic Black Metal | Greece

Superb Hellenic black metal from two veterans of the scene. The esoteric fringes of classic heavy metal shroud the usual black metal elements, prioritizing killer riffs and atmosphere over genre traditionalism. That's not a unique approach -- Hellenic black metal is all about that crossover -- but damn if it isn't done extremely well here.

--Ted Nubel

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Crystal Viper -- The Cult | Listenable Records | Heavy + Power Metal | Poland

Exuberant heavy/power metal with lots of harmonized guitar/vocal leads, but a good amount of riffs too.

The CD version of the album includes a cover of King Diamond's "Them," with Andy LaRocque on lead guitar. That raises some questions about the nature of a "cover" and if the word applies when one of the original writers of the song is involved -- I feel like there should be some other term -- but it's a cool thing to feature regardless.

--Ted Nubel

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Despite being one of the longest-running extreme metal bands in Greece, Obsecration have earned fairly little acclaim over the years. Their newest album dropped to some small interest back in August on CD and on the 29th will be available on 12” vinyl for your eager buying pleasure. Though the band has stumbled here and there since forming in 1990, they’re at full strength with Onwards the Mystic Paths of the Dead and bring forth a churning assault of thrash-infused Hellenic death metal that should strongly appeal to fans of countrymen like Spider Kickers, Plague and Death Courier. Don’t miss this one!

Note: Witching Hour doesn't seem to have this vinyl on their site yet, but Plastic Head at least has a pre-order link here. It may show up on Witching Hour's site on release day -- you can check here.

--Brandon Corsair

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The big thing here is energy -- Pounder's got it in spades, and with traditional heavy metal (though this dips into speed metal and hard rock territory as well), that electrical feeling of heavy metal thunder surging through your veins is a huge differentiator. Each song on this record has a markedly different feel and quickly accelerates from an interesting opening sequence to speedy, headbang-ready riffs and catchy choruses.

--Ted Nubel

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Death metal of the "choking on your own entrails" variety. Nasty, kinda fast but not too fast, and includes an "Into The Crypt Of Rays" cover -- sure, it's a little bit overdone, but it serves as a sort of benchmark in its ubiquity.

--Ted Nubel

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Devotion -- The Harrowing | Memento Mori | Death Metal | Spain

Did you want more released-on-January-25th-by-Memento-Mori death metal? Here it is -- guttural vocals, swirling leads and chunky riffs set this one apart. Buying this album (since it's not up on Bandcamp yet as I can find) is a nostalgia trip back to the pre-Y2K metal-purchasing experience -- hit the album link above and follow the instructions.

--Ted Nubel

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Death metal of the "choking on your own entrails" variety. Nasty, kinda fast but not too fast, and includes an "Into The Crypt Of Rays" cover -- sure, it's a little bit overdone, but it serves as a sort of benchmark in its ubiquity.

--Ted Nubel

...

From Andrew Sacher's review:

Not that I would usually advise arguing about a band's genre, but when it comes to Portrayal of Guilt, don't even bother trying. From the start, they've been just as much a screamo/hardcore band as a black/death metal band (and even those are too limiting), and as they continue to evolve, the lines just get even blurrier. Their sophomore LP We Are Always Alone follows their already-killer discography of one album, two EPs, and other miscellaneous releases, and it manages to stand out as the best thing they've done yet. Their approach on this album reminds me of the way Deafheaven broke down barriers between screamo and metal on Sunbather, or the way Inter Arma fused together as many styles of heavy music as they could on that same year's Sky Burial. But while those records were sprawling, lengthy offerings, Portrayal of Guilt get it all done in like 25 minutes.

Read more here.

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